Bankwest to close three more branches

This in order to focus on digital, broker investment

Bankwest to close three more branches


By Mina Martin

Amid declining bank transactions, Bankwest said it will close three Perth metro branches later this year, to direct further investment into meeting growing customer preferences for digital and broker services.

In a statement, the CBA-owned institution said the branch closures reflect Bankwest’s strategic focus as a WA-based bank for current and future homeowners by investing in improved digital and broker services for its customers.

Bankwest’s Baldivis branch will close its doors on Nov. 9, while the bank’s South Perth and Osborne Park branches will close on Nov. 16 and 23, respectively. The three branch closures follow the previously announced closure of Subiaco on July 20.

“Bankwest has been evolving for 128 years and today we have a clear vision to be a simple, easy bank for current and future homeowners nationwide,” said Scott Spittles (pictured above), Bankwest general manager of personal banking.

“I understand these changes will cause some inconvenience, but we are seeing more branches become increasingly unsustainable to operate as customer banking preferences shift to digital options.”

Spittles said customer demand for digital banking services has continued to grow, with digital transactions now accounting for around 97% of all transactions, while in-branch services have declined by 44% in the past three years.

“WA branches now average just 39 transactions a day, with that volume expected to almost halve to 22 a day as business customers, who account for almost half of branch transactions, transition away from Bankwest,” he said.

Bankwest is planning to operate fewer branches as more customers make the shift to digital banking services. Impacted Bankwest employees will be retained through re-skilling and re-training programs to support customers in digital channels, and through career opportunities in a broad range of CBA Group roles in WA.

“As a major WA employer, our Fluid workforce initiative enables us to work with branch colleagues to retain their talents in roles where customers want more support, in our customer service centre, or in other roles in the group,” Spittles said.

“The CBA Group, including Bankwest, employs about 5,000 West Australians and more career opportunities are opening up in customer service, technology, data science, and operations areas to meet changing customer needs.”

The bank has already notified customers regarding the branch closures, which included information on alternative banking options – digital and in-person through Bank@Post – to ensure continuity of banking services.

Bankwest customers who prefer in-person banking can continue to do so through Bank@Post, with participating Australia Post offices servicing many everyday banking transactions.

“We’ll continue to balance customer preferences for digital banking services with alternative face-to-face options, including Bank@Post services, covering most everyday banking needs in communities across Australia,” Spittles said.

Last September, Bankwest announced the closure of all branches outside WA.

Those changes have allowed the bank to invest in priority areas, such as Bankwest’s critical broker network and homebuying resources, including the new Bankwest Home Buying Hub, and improved digital banking services.

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